Wise up to the most common sex scenarios putting your welfare at risk.
"He says he'll pull out before he cums"
The so-called 'withdrawal method' should not be considered a reliable form of contraception if you're trying to avoid a pregnancy. Firstly, the sticky drops of fluid ('pre-cum') that start to come out of the penis when it becomes erect do contain sperm, and it only takes one sperm to cause a pregnancy. Secondly, it's easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment, and he might not be able to hold back anyway. And finally, unprotected sex places you both at risk from sexually transmitted infections. Using condoms will give you better peace of mind.
"I don't have any diseases, I don't screw around"
Unless you are both in a stable and monogamous relationship, and have already been tested for all STIs, there is still a risk. It is possible to have a sexually transmitted disease and not even know that you're infected, especially if you're female. Also, if your partner has been unfaithful to you, they may well lie about it and try to cover it up. Some infections can be spread by other contact, such as drug users sharing dirty needles, so even a virgin can catch something like HIV or hepatitis and pass it on.
"You'd do it if you loved me"
Sex is all about choices, and consent. If you really don't want to do something, don't be scared to say no. A decent, caring partner will understand and respect your decision. If anyone tries to pressurise you or force you into doing something you don't want to do, think hard about whether you want to continue the relationship. You may decide that you're better off without them, no matter how much you love them. If a boyfriend or girlfriend threatens to dump you for not providing sexual favours, give them the shove first, and don't take any emotional abuse.
"I was so out of it, I can't really remember..."
Although nobody has the right to do anything sexual to you without your consent, if you're getting completely off your head on drink and drugs on a regular basis, you could be putting yourself at risk. It's easy to forget about safer sex or even general personal safety if your judgement is seriously impaired. Some people just need to cut down a little, but for others it's a complex issue that relates to their self-esteem. On a similar note, although drug-related sexual assaults are rare, it's worth knowing how to protect yourself, and look out for your friends.
Remember, it's not just penetrative sex that transfers STIs. You can catch chlamydia, herpes, syphilis, LGV and gonorrhoea from having unprotected oral sex. The HPV virus, which can cause warts and (though rarely) cancer, can also be caught from having oral sex. Make sure you're protected and practice safe oral sex by using a condom or dental dam.
Read the comment policy
Use our free question and answer service and speak to an expert!